Crypto regulation is in the spotlight as the EU passes the world’s first crypto legislation and SEC chair Gary Gensler is grilled on his crypto policies. Meanwhile, one kingdom has secretly been buying cryptos. These stories and more, this week in crypto.
MiCA: EU Passes World’s First Crypto Law
Lawmakers in the European Union have voted in favor of the Markets in Crypto-Assets, or MiCA legislation – establishing a new crypto licensing protocol. The rules would impose a number of requirements on crypto platforms, token issuers, and traders regarding transparency and disclosure. The parliamentary approval paves the way for the EU to become the first major jurisdiction in the world to enact a comprehensive crypto law.
SEC Charges Bittrex
The US SEC has charged crypto exchange Bittrex with operating an unregistered national securities exchange. The SEC alleges that former CEO, William Shihara, helped token issuers to delete public statements that would lead regulators to investigate token offerings as securities. Bittrex stated that securities were not offered or traded on its platform.
SEC Chair Struggles on Crypto Hearing
In a five hour congressional hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler struggled to defend his agency’s policies on crypto. The committee pressed Gensler with questions about whether the SEC was pushing too hard on crypto companies, driving innovation overseas and endangering American competitiveness. Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry scolded Gensler, saying that regulation by enforcement is neither sufficient nor sustainable.
New Stablecoin Reached Largest Market Value
TrueUSD, a previously little known stablecoin, now makes up the largest Bitcoin trading pair in the world as its market value has risen by $1 billion over the past two months. One major contributor to its growth was Binance, which scrapped zero-fee Bitcoin trading promotions in March, except for Bitcoin to TrueUSD, increasing demand for the stablecoin.
Intel Ends Bitcoin Mining Chip Production
Intel has ended the production of its bitcoin mining chip series called the Blockscale. Customers can still order new chips but shipments will end in April of 2024. Intel’s initial entry into the market for bitcoin-mining chips came at an inopportune time, as its chips finally became available right as Bitcoin valuations crashed at the end of the last crypto craze.
Terra Luna’s Do Kwon Finally Indicted
Nearly a month after his arrest in Montenegro, Do Kwon, co-founder and CEO of Terraform Labs has been indicted. Prosecutors have accused Kwon of using a fake passport and other identification documents while attempting to flee the country. Kwon’s indictment is likely to complicate efforts to extradite him to the US and South Korea where he faces multiple charges.
Solana’s Annual Carbon Footprint Tracked
The Solana Foundation launched an emissions dashboard to track the carbon footprint of servers powering the Solana blockchain in response to recent criticism. According to the dashboard, total output to run the Solana network is equal to just 8 transatlantic flights per year as servers emitted less than 11,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the past 12 months.
Kingdom of Bhutan Secretly Invested In Crypto
The investment arm of the Government of Bhutan, Druk Holdings and Investment, has reportedly invested millions in cryptocurrency. Court documents show Bhutan’s $2.9 billion sovereign investment branch was a customer of bankrupt crypto lenders BlockFi and Celsius. The Kingdom of Bhutan also made deposits and withdrawals worth millions in various digital assets including bitcoin, ether and USDC.
That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.